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Bright & Brief

August 28, 1988

FALLBROOK, Calif. (AP) _ Honorary mayoral candidates in this North San Diego County community have to be able to throw the mud to make it to the top.

With squishy, slimy mud pies in hand, three candidates for the non-office battled it out Saturday to see who could fling the mud the farthest.

″Compared to the Bush-Dukakis presidential campaign, this mud-slinging contest ... was neat and clean,″ said Al Diederich, manager of the local Chamber of Commerce which sponsored the second annual mud-hurling fete.

The high noon confrontation matched would-be-mayors Patti Seim, Carol Morgan and Alfred Canchola in a 10-shot event.

After the candidates’ 30 flings were tabulated, Canchola, a carpenter, was declared the winner.

″We don’t have an official mayor because we’re not a city,″ Diederich said of the town in unincorporated county territory, 50 miles north of San Diego.

So the Chamber of Commerce has turned the honorary race into a fund-raising event. Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 9, the official campaign period, candidates offer votes for sale for $1, with proceeds going to the chamber, he said.

The candidate who pulls in the most votes becomes honorary mayor for a year. The losers in Saturday’s competition had to forfeit $25 in votes to the victor. The winner will be announced Sept. 21, Diederich said.

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KEENE, N.H. (AP) - The greased zucchini toss and the green baton relay race highlighted the Zucchini Olympics at the seventh and final International Zucchini Festival.

Final? Dixie Gurrian, a spokeswoman for the Zucchini Central Committee, explained organizers spent nine months planning the festival. ″We’re all pooped,″ she said.

Saturday’s event, she said, raised between $14,000 and $15,000 for the Harrisville Children’s Center and the Grand Monadnock Arts Council. More than 1,000 people showed up at Keene State College for the fun.

Some zuke fans were squashed by the decision not to hold the festival next year. Some even passed around petitions protesting the committee’s decision.

″I have six pages of names of people willing to volunteer″ if there’s a festival next year, she said. Still, there are no plans to reincarnate the event, she added.

Asked about future fund-raisers, Gurrian said, ″You never know what we’ll come up with over the winter.″

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EATONTOWN, N.J. (AP) - A 4.258-pound tomato that won a statewide competition and a $1,000 prize for Minnie Zaccaria of Long Branch would have been bigger if this summer’s heat hadn’t ripened it so fast, she said.

″I knew it was going to be big. You kind of tell when it’s on the vine what it will weigh,″ Ms. Zaccaria said Saturday.

Ms. Zaccaria, who won the 1986 championship, said this summer’s hot weather forced her to pick the tomato weeks before the contest and keep it in her refrigerator.

″I really felt it would have been a lot bigger. The heat forced all the fruit to ripen sooner than it would have,″ she said.

There’s no trick to growing large tomatoes, she said. ″Anybody can do it with the proper soil, water and food. It takes those three things in the right proportions.″

Ms. Zaccaria said she set out 75 tomato plants this summer, but doesn’t plan to grow that many tomatoes next year because of the work involved.

Two other Long Branch residents, Daniel E. Parottino and his wife, Sylvia, grew the second- and third-place winners in the 11th annual New Jersey Championship Tomato Weigh-In. Parottino’s 3.896-pound tomato earned him $500, while Mrs. Parottino’s weighed 3.838 pounds worth $250.

Thirty-seven winners of local tomato weigh-ins converged on the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown for Saturday’s championship. The contest is sponsored by Joseph Heimbold of Monmouth Beach, who originated the idea, and gardening supply stores throughout the state.

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